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I am having a cosmetic issue with Ubuntu 13.04. After a fresh install the splash screen was fine and I had restart the laptop several times while attempting to install my wireless drivers. After everything was installed correctly, it was still fine. I ran Software Updater and needed to restart, so on next boot-up this is now what the boot screen looks like. Both start up and shutdown are affected and both are shown in the video: Thank you for your time!

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Also wanted to say, I tried sudo update-alternatives --config default.plymouth to no avail. – Eli Jul 17 '13 at 18:51

I figured it out! In a terminal, I typed: sudo gedit /etc/default/grub
Next, I went to the end of the document and typed this: GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=1440x900

1440x900 being my native resolution for my screen. Yours may vary. Check your monitor settings. After saving and closing the file, I typed in sudo update-grub and voila! My boot screen was back to normal.

It has something to do with Nvidia chips and wanting to put the terminal in a low resolution mode.

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